Police on Monday rejected a request by an embattled construction tycoon to postpone Wednesday’s meeting to acknowledge attempted bribery charges.
Pol Maj General Kamol Rienracha, chief of the Counter Corruption Division, said a lawyer of Premchai Karnasuta, president of Italian-Thai Development firm, had contacted police seeking a delay without giving a reason or suggesting a new appointment date.
“The police investigation into Premchai’s alleged offering of a bribe in exchange for his release, after being arrested in early February for poaching in Thung Yai Naresuan Wildlife Sanctuary in Kanchanaburi province, is complete,” Kamol said.
Premchai’s lawyer had been informed of the decision and promised to bring Premchai to meet police on Wednesday, he added.
Premchai has been charged with nine offences relating to poaching and will face three more charges of attempted bribery and the possession of illegal guns and elephant tusks without a permit.
Meanwhile, Karawee Songsri, an adviser to a civil-society group, led a group of about 20 people wearing black leopard masks to meet with deputy national police chief Pol General Srivara Rangsibhramanakul, the chief investigator on Premchai’s case.
The group said they were seeking justice for a black leopard whose remains were found at Premchai’s campsite when he was arrested.
They demanded that the investigation into the charges should be transparent and not subject to double standards, adding that police should not take sides with Premchai because of his influential billionaire status.
Srivara told the group that the law had only one standard under which rich and poor people were treated equally.
He added that police had not dragged their feet on behalf of Premchai.
“The suspect still denies all the charges, so police have had to spend time collecting evidence to make the case airtight,” Srivara said.